Virtual Console vs. Real Copies of Classic Titles: Which is Cheaper?

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Published by 11 years ago , last updated 11 months ago

Posted on January 31, 2008, Jonathan Virtual Console vs. Real Copies of Classic Titles: Which is Cheaper?

nes_controller-1.jpgPeople gripe a lot about shelling out cash for new Virtual Console versions of classic game. It’s not hard to understand why, considering many people probably owned these titles years ago and finding free (but illegal) ROMs for these same games can be found online quite easily. With all that in mind, it’s only natural gamers would feel a little cheated by a $5 price tag for the original Super Mario Bros. But is it really cheaper to scour garage sales and eBay for the used copies of your favorite titles rather than downloading them onto the Wii?

Well, JJ Hendricks, author of the Video Game Price Charts Blog set out to answer that question. He put together a detailed chart comparing the price of every single Virtual Console title to their cost on on January 24th just to see which was cheaper. The results were…surprising:

Game Title

Used Price VC Price
Nintendo Entertainment System $273.53 $288.00
Super NES $354.38 $216.00
Nintendo 64 $169.42 $102.00
Sega Genesis $406.59 $353.00
Neo Geo $135.00 $72.00
TurboGrafx-16 $1,177.67 $294.00


$2516.59 $1325.00

Yep, that’s right. Seems it really is cheaper to just download the VC version rather then tracking down an actual cartridge; a lot cheaper, unless you’re looking for NES games. Of course some titles skew the final results quite drastically — TurboGrafx-16 games cost at least $20 each for the most part, as opposed to their $6 VC price tag. Besides which, the way I’ve always looked at it is the Virtual Console allows anyone a chance to relive an old classic and not just the guy who won the final eBay bid. Now, what’s say we get some Tetris Attack on there?

Via Vintage Computing and Gaming

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